What’s the backstory – Muscle Shoals on PBS

Clarence Carter in “Muscle Shoals,” image from PBS.org


When I first started listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd in high school I quickly learned the words to many songs including “Sweet Home Alabama.”  There was a line in the song that I knew by heart but had no idea what it meant, “in Muscle Shoals they love the Swampers.”  I knew the song was about Alabama and at the time ESPN always showed swamp buggy racing, so I assumed that this lyric was about swamp buggies (check them out, trust me).

Four years ago, I stumbled onto a short documentary on Vice.com, “The Muscle Shoals Sound,” (which incidentally I believe was what they call “sponsored content” now from Levi’s) and I was introduced to Fame Studios and the amazing music created by world famous bands that all came to this small town in Alabama.

Tonight, I by chance turned on a new documentary on PBS Independent Lens about Muscle Shoals. Please go watch it, and next time you hear a lyric that catches you, track down what it means. Who knows maybe you’ll stumble onto some of the most amazing music you’ll ever find.


Also, they’ve created an amazing play list of songs from Muscle Shoals on Spotify. Check it out. Trust me.




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